Writer: Joey Garrand
2 min read September 2021 — In-person events and festivities are nearing a full swing for Labor Day weekend and beyond. After a year of isolation, leaders across the Greater Pittsburgh region shared with Invest: their excitement for a return to some sense of normalcy.
Jim Boltz, President, Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber
We had very little opportunity to do anything last year at this time. In contrast, our fall schedule is full. We have several different things going on, different fundraisers that we could not do in 2020. By the end of the year, we did a Holiday Village Market, geared toward holiday gift-giving. We had over 40 vendors for that and an attendance of over 1,500 people outside. Everybody was in their tents with their Christmas lights. It was like a scene in a Hallmark movie. We’re looking forward to the continued growth and getting back to our normal way of life. You do business with people you like and trust but you need to build those relationships. We’re looking forward to getting back, seeing our members and getting to know them better again.
Mark Hilliard, President, Indiana County Chamber
I’m excited about where we’re heading and I’m anxious to see what the next steps are going to be. In the beginning of 2020, we were feeling a lot of this same anticipation and excitement, feeling that 2020 was going to be a big year for Indiana County. Obviously, we were wrong as no one could have foreseen the pandemic, but that positive and encouraging outlook that we had at the beginning of 2020 is returning right now. I truly feel that once we start to round the corner at the end of this year and get back on track, 2022 is poised to be a big year for us and that’s going to set the stage for big things to come.
Perry Ivery, General Manager, The Oaklander Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott
For Labor Day, there are various festivals held in Pittsburgh. The city created a new outdoor “pop up” park for people to enjoy live music called the “Allegheny Overlook”. It has outdoor seating, food trucks and is located along the Allegheny River near the Cultural District. I’m most excited to see people out and about. We all have days where we want solitude but we’re in the hospitality industry. We enjoy seeing people with their families. From that to folding towels and cleaning bathrooms – I’m excited for everything.
Lynda Pozzuto, Executive Director, Alle Kiski Strong Chamber
The Chamber organizes a large national boat race in Downtown Kittanning. It’s a regular American Powerboat Association race. We get roughly 150 racers coming in from all over the United States and Canada. That will be Aug. 20-22. You don’t think about Armstrong County having a national boat race but we do. It’s a three-day festival. Last year, of course, we couldn’t hold the race but the year before that we won two awards: a regional award for best race site in the United States and a national award for best race site in the United States. We were up against competitors from across the country and we won, which we are very proud of. We also have a large wine and beer festival in Downtown New Kensington coming up. That’s going to be Sept. 11. The last time we did this, we had over 5,000 people show up. For our area, that’s huge.
Leon Hoffman, Office Managing Partner, Pittsburgh, EY
I’m going golfing but I did golf last year, too, which is one of the few things people could do. I did just get away with my family a couple of weeks ago, which was not possible before, for a nice week down in Florida. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed it.
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